An Overview of Ground Beef at Retail and Foodservice

While the beef industry offers consumers many choices when it comes to items in the meat case or options on a menu, one beef product remains the overwhelming leader. From January through July of this year, Ground Beef products have comprised 49% of retail sales in the U.S. in terms of volume and 37% of dollars.1 Consumers see Ground Beef as a versatile, affordable, and frequent meal option.  According to the Beef Checkoff-funded Consumer Beef Tracker, nearly 60% of consumers eat Ground Beef as an ingredient and over 50% consume a hamburger at least weekly.2 There is no doubt shoppers demand a wide variety of options when it comes to food purchases, and Ground Beef rises to this challenge. Whether it is the form of the product, production-based claims, or the lean-to-fat ratio, Ground Beef allows consumers to choose products that fit their preference. 

retail ground beef sales

Due to an increase of consumer traffic resulting from pandemic dynamics, Ground Beef had a tremendous year at the retail level. Popular for its recipe versatility and ability to be frozen, Ground Beef saw an additional $2.05 billion in dollars sold at retail, totaling $12.4 billion for 2020.3 During the initial “stock-up” phase of the pandemic, Ground Beef was a key item that consumers desired to have ample supply of in their freezers. Over 80% of consumers reported having at least one Ground Beef meal stored in their freezer, while 30% reported having five or more.4 Whether consumers stock-piled cut-specific grinds, grassfed products, pre-formed patties, Ground Beef was an important protein in consumer diets throughout the pandemic. 

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